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The second brocha of Shemone Esrei is known as the brocha of "Gevuros", for in this brocha we demonstrate HaKadosh Boruch Hu’s absolute omnipotence.

The Ritva (Taanis 2A) notes that the concept of T’chiyas HaMeisim--revival of those not alive--is mentioned four (4) times in this brocha.  While T’chiyas HaMeisim is certainly unparalleled gevura--why need it be mentioned four different times within one short brocha?  As we know, the Anshei K’nesses HaGadola compiled each brocha B’Ruach HaKadosh, and each word is very literally counted and deeply meaningful.  See the remarkable words of the Aruch HaShulchan (Orach Chayim 112:4,5).

Because of the strength of this question, the Ritva teaches that in fact there is no reiteration here at all.  Rather, there are four separate and distinct forms of T’chiyas HaMeisim mentioned in this brocha:

FIRST:  "Mechaye Meisim Ata Rav L’Hoshia" is immediately followed (in the winter months) by Morid HaGeshem, because this phase refers to Hashem’s bringing us to life with proper rain, which bring us our food and sustenance.

SECOND:  "Mechaye Meisim B’Rachamim Rabim" (which is followed by Somech Noflim) refers to people who are seriously or even deathly ill whom HaKadosh Boruch Hu brings back to life through miraculous healing power.

THIRD:  "Melech Meimis U’Mechaye" refers to the departed whom the Neviim (such as Eliyahu HaNavi and Elisha HaNavi) helped bring back to life, and additionally to those whom Hashem brings to life "B’Olom HaNeshomos" (obviously this is a nistar concept).

FOURTH:  "V’Neeman Ata L’Hachayos Meisim" refers to the ultimate T’chiyas HaMeisim, which we all anxiously await.

We see here how Hashem’s greatest gevuros have always been with us, are currently with us and will in the future be with us, as well.


HaRav Schwab, Z’tl teaches (Rav Schwab on Prayer, Artscroll, p.424) that Techiyas Hameisim is the ultimate yeshua--and accordingly at the end of the bracha, we recite that Hashem is Matzmiach Yeshua. He writes that HaRav Shimshon Refoel Hirsch, Z’tl explains that the root of yeshua is yesh---which means ‘something’ or ‘existence’--and is meant to convey that HaKadosh Baruch Hu grants everlasting existence to those who merit it--based on their Emunah and conviction during their lifetime that Yesh Techiyas Hameisim Min HaTorah. The Sefer Ya’aros Devash adds that one should await this BeTachlis HaSimcha--for at this time man will be brought to his Shleimus--fully and yes, finally realizing his potential! Have the Kavannah--it really makes the difference!


The Kuntres Avodas HaTefillah by Rabbi Meyer Birnbaum, Shlita helps us understand that when we recite that Hashem is a Someich Noflim we mean that not only does He support those who have physically fallen, but also those whose spirit has fallen or who are down financially. Rofeh Cholim then refers to Hashem's healing of those who are sick with all kinds of ailments--including those to which doctors nay have thrown their hands up. Matir Asurim teaches that Hashem helps those who may be bound in all kinds of ways--limbs which are now able to move and then remarkably sit up after having been in a lying position for hours, a child out of its mother's womb, a person out of jail, a person assisted to freedom from improper passions, a single person released from his status--by getting married! The bracha of Gevuros then is so wonderfully encompassing--we should not let it get by us so easily as we move from the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei to the upcoming great Brachos of personal requests!


We bring especial attention to the second bracha of Gevuros in Shemone Esrei-during which we should take relief, pleasure and pride--and gain serenity--with the knowledge that awareness that Hashem is in complete control of the World--and every part of its existence.



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Chazal (Megillah 17B) teach that our recitation of the Second Bracha of Shemone Esrei (known as Gevuros-- Hashem’s Omnipotence) is based on the Pasuk (Tehillim 29:1):  Havu LaHashem Kavod VeOz--render to Hashem honor and might.”  HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, explains that this means that by referring to Hashem’s Omnipotence, we are honoring Him.  He adds, however, that we must understand what Omnipotence really means.  Hashem’s Power cannot be explained in terms of a mortal’s power or prowess, as when two people, groups or even countries are engaged in battle and one bests the other.  Rather, because Hashem is the Source of all strength, power and influence in the world, there is simply no one that can stand up to Him that he must defeat.  After all, is a man who steps on a fly considered a Gibor?  Indeed, as we noted in the definition of HaGibor in the First bracha of Shemone Esrei, Hashem’s restraint against the nations who seek to destroy K’lal Yisroel, is a demonstration of Hashem’s Omnipotence--allowing His Middas HaChesed to supersede His Middas HaDin--thereby giving K’lal Yisroel more zechusim in Bechira, and giving the other nations more attempts to succeed in life.  Moreover, we must remember that when Hashem displays His outward Gevurah, He does so in both ‘natural’ and ‘miraculous’ ways.  We begin the Bracha with the words Atta Gibor LeOlam--Hashem’s Might is not only infinite, but eternal.  Hashem does not tire, and Hashem does not age.  LeOlam also indicates that Hashem’s incomparable Power manifests itself in all situations, in all circumstances and in all events.  If we can properly appreciate these three opening words of this bracha--Atta Gibor LeOlam, then we can infuse the Brachos of Request that we are soon to make with greater sincerity and Kavannah, for we know with clarity and certainty that we make the requests in front of the Only One who can fulfill them!

Hakhel Note:  One can reflect upon these three opening words every time he takes a tablet or pill, puts on a medical patch, or undergoes some other kind of therapy or treatment.  It is not the oval shaped capsule that actually cures the infection, or the gray tablet that removes the arthritic pain; it is not even the exercise bike that strengthens one’s knees or the dietary regimen that saves one from illness--it is, rather, Hashem Who creates the symptoms and the cures, the illnesses and the healings, Who will determine just exactly when the pain will start and when it will stop, what the side effects and after-effects of any treatment may be, and the what and why for a person staying healthy and well.  This observation relates only to the Rofeh Cholim words of the Pasuk.  Similar considerations must, of course, be made for the remainder of the bracha--Mechalkel Chaim B’Chesed, Someich Noflim…. Yes, most assuredly, we believe and should think about throughout the day (and at least when reciting Shemone Esrei!) that Atta Gibor LeOlam!


The Sefer BeRumo Shel Olam on Tefillah brings the teaching of the Sefer Avudraham that Techiyas HaMeisim is mentioned three separate times in the bracha of Gevuros--each with its own independent meaning (see also Ritva to Ta’anis 2A for a slightly different approach), as follows: 


1.  Mechayeh Meisim Atta--this refers to our awakening in the morning after hours of sleep, which is one-sixrieth of death. It is for this reason that before we go to sleep, we actually recite the Pasuk: “Beyadecha Afkid Ruchi Padisa Osi Hashem Kel Emes--in Your hands I put my spirit, Hashem save me...”.


2. Mechayeh Meisim B’Rachamim Rabim--this refers to the rainfall and Parnassah that Hashem supplies us with in the here and now--for Chazal (Ta’anis 7A) teach that Gadol Yom HaGeshamim Yoser Meitichiyas HaMeisim.  As the Tur writes:  Just as Techiyas HaMeisim brings life to the world, so does rain! 


3.  V’Ne’eman Atta LeHachayos Meisim Boruch Atta Hashem Mechayeh Meisim--this refers to the Techiyas HaMeisim of the future to which we will hopefully be zoche.  Hakhel Note:  We may suggest that the phrases ‘Techiyas HaMeisim’ and ‘Mechayeh Meisim’ are repeated in this vein, are not only so that the end of the bracha should be similar to its concluding phrase (which is a Halachic principle), but also to allude to the fact that there will be two stages of Techiyas HaMeisim--first the Tzaddikim will arise, and later all those others who are deserving.


The Sefer Reishis Chochma (Chapter 7) adds that the Gevurah referred to in this bracha is  Gevurah B’Chesed--Someich Noflim, Rofeh Cholim, Matir Assurim, and, of course, the three kinds of Techiyas HaMeisim referred to above!  Accordingly, when reciting this bracha, we should appreciate Hashem’s ongoing love for us--as He demonstrates His caring Omnipotence in literally limitless ways!






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